Peacetime airborne radar installations perform several most useful functions. They are an aid to navigation, they provide early warning against storms, they detect nearby terrain, and they are capable of alerting the pilot to nearby aircraft. Many commercial airlines are now installing or plan to install this indispensable equipment.
One which already has is Pan American. PAA aircraft are equipped with modern radar, and the company is most convinced that the device pays for itself many times over despite the installation and maintenance cost and added weight. To tell the basic principles of radar (RAdio Detection And Ranging) to its employees last year, PAA used the film SENTINEL IN THE SKY as a part of its overall training program for flight and non-flight personnel. The slide-motion picture was so successful in getting the story across that this summer it was released for general public showings via television.
SENTINEL shows how man has always reached for vision of the things beyond his sight, beginning, perhaps, with the ancient sailor who first climbed the mast to see over the horizon. In modern times the quest has led to such airborne aids as the gyro compass, horizon indicator and radio direction finding navigational systems. Sequences on radar show its basics and how it works in modern planes. [Business Screen, 1956, vol. 17, no. 6]